Archive for September, 2004

September 27, 2004


3G.co.uk: Vodafone 3G Phone Xmas Blitz

The run-up to Christmas 2004 will be an important barometer of how things are going to go in the 3G space — 3G has had a disastrous time in Europe over the past few years, what with the operators paying billions for frequencies in the Big Spectrum Allocation Selloff. My own market research (talking to local teenagers and eavesdropping in gadget shops) suggests that attitudes are shifting rapidly, from “I can’t believe they’re gonna rip us off again with these new gizmos that I blatantly do NOT need, thank you very much” towards “I MUST have one!” And yes, as soon as I can get a phone incoporporating a tiny 3.2 megapixel camera that also takes my SD memory card from my other gadgets, I’ll get one… they’re clearly on the way!

Here’s a quote from 3g.co.uk, in fact actually taken from Vodafone’s own press release (PDF file):

“Europe : Vodafone today [22nd September, 2004] announces its extensive range of 10 new generation 3G handsets planned for the Christmas period, following the launch of the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G datacard and the successful introduction of Vodafone live! with 3G.

Customers can use Vodafone’s new generation of 3G handsets in both Europe and Japan as services will be delivered seamlessly by Vodafone’s global W-CDMA networks. Vodafone plans to launch 10 new 3G handsets. The portfolio includes the Sharp 802, Sharp 902, Motorola E1000, Motorola V980, Motorola C980, NEC’s Vodafone 802N, Sony Ericsson V800, Nokia 6630, Samsung Z110V and Samsung Z107V.

Full details of these services and handset availability will follow in November.”

The specs of these new phones are fantastic (naturally)… for example the Sony Ericsson V800 will have a 1.3 megapixel camera, full 3G streamed media services, multiplayer games with a 3D Java engine, triband + GPRS + 3G for worldwide use, Memory Stick / Memory Stick Duo compatibility for up to 1GB removable storage, yada yada yada. Tres cool: the key thing is whether the 3G services can be (a) set up automatically without having to negotiate complicated contracts and manually tweak IP settings, or dealing with help lines that don’t know enough to help you [these things made GPRS in Europe really frustrating]; (b) robust and fast [the lack of which made WAP a real joke]. The operators know enough now to deliver on (a) and (b), but the proof is in the pudding. I believe part of the delay has been due to bullet-proofing the services, so here’s hoping they get it right!

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September 27, 2004


3G.co.uk: Vodafone 3G Phone Xmas Blitz

The run-up to Christmas 2004 will be an important barometer of how things are going to go in the 3G space — 3G has had a disastrous time in Europe over the past few years, what with the operators paying billions for frequencies in the Big Spectrum Allocation Selloff. My own market research (talking to local teenagers and eavesdropping in gadget shops) suggests that attitudes are shifting rapidly, from “I can’t believe they’re gonna rip us off again with these new gizmos that I blatantly do NOT need, thank you very much” towards “I MUST have one!” And yes, as soon as I can get a phone incoporporating a tiny 3.2 megapixel camera that also takes my SD memory card from my other gadgets, I’ll get one… they’re clearly on the way!

Here’s a quote from 3g.co.uk, in fact actually taken from Vodafone’s own press release (PDF file):

“Europe : Vodafone today [22nd September, 2004] announces its extensive range of 10 new generation 3G handsets planned for the Christmas period, following the launch of the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G datacard and the successful introduction of Vodafone live! with 3G.

Customers can use Vodafone’s new generation of 3G handsets in both Europe and Japan as services will be delivered seamlessly by Vodafone’s global W-CDMA networks. Vodafone plans to launch 10 new 3G handsets. The portfolio includes the Sharp 802, Sharp 902, Motorola E1000, Motorola V980, Motorola C980, NEC’s Vodafone 802N, Sony Ericsson V800, Nokia 6630, Samsung Z110V and Samsung Z107V.

Full details of these services and handset availability will follow in November.”

The specs of these new phones are fantastic (naturally)… for example the Sony Ericsson V800 will have a 1.3 megapixel camera, full 3G streamed media services, multiplayer games with a 3D Java engine, triband + GPRS + 3G for worldwide use, Memory Stick / Memory Stick Duo compatibility for up to 1GB removable storage, yada yada yada. Tres cool: the key thing is whether the 3G services can be (a) set up automatically without having to negotiate complicated contracts and manually tweak IP settings, or dealing with help lines that don’t know enough to help you [these things made GPRS in Europe really frustrating]; (b) robust and fast [the lack of which made WAP a real joke]. The operators know enough now to deliver on (a) and (b), but the proof is in the pudding. I believe part of the delay has been due to bullet-proofing the services, so here’s hoping they get it right!

September 27, 2004


3G.co.uk: Vodafone 3G Phone Xmas Blitz

The run-up to Christmas 2004 will be an important barometer of how things are going to go in the 3G space — 3G has had a disastrous time in Europe over the past few years, what with the operators paying billions for frequencies in the Big Spectrum Allocation Selloff. My own market research (talking to local teenagers and eavesdropping in gadget shops) suggests that attitudes are shifting rapidly, from “I can’t believe they’re gonna rip us off again with these new gizmos that I blatantly do NOT need, thank you very much” towards “I MUST have one!” And yes, as soon as I can get a phone incoporporating a tiny 3.2 megapixel camera that also takes my SD memory card from my other gadgets, I’ll get one… they’re clearly on the way!

Here’s a quote from 3g.co.uk, in fact actually taken from Vodafone’s own press release (PDF file):

“Europe : Vodafone today [22nd September, 2004] announces its extensive range of 10 new generation 3G handsets planned for the Christmas period, following the launch of the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G datacard and the successful introduction of Vodafone live! with 3G.

Customers can use Vodafone’s new generation of 3G handsets in both Europe and Japan as services will be delivered seamlessly by Vodafone’s global W-CDMA networks. Vodafone plans to launch 10 new 3G handsets. The portfolio includes the Sharp 802, Sharp 902, Motorola E1000, Motorola V980, Motorola C980, NEC’s Vodafone 802N, Sony Ericsson V800, Nokia 6630, Samsung Z110V and Samsung Z107V.

Full details of these services and handset availability will follow in November.”

The specs of these new phones are fantastic (naturally)… for example the Sony Ericsson V800 will have a 1.3 megapixel camera, full 3G streamed media services, multiplayer games with a 3D Java engine, triband + GPRS + 3G for worldwide use, Memory Stick / Memory Stick Duo compatibility for up to 1GB removable storage, yada yada yada. Tres cool: the key thing is whether the 3G services can be (a) set up automatically without having to negotiate complicated contracts and manually tweak IP settings, or dealing with help lines that don’t know enough to help you [these things made GPRS in Europe really frustrating]; (b) robust and fast [the lack of which made WAP a real joke]. The operators know enough now to deliver on (a) and (b), but the proof is in the pudding. I believe part of the delay has been due to bullet-proofing the services, so here’s hoping they get it right!

GPS/GPRS/Bluetooth/Pocket PC/Game/Phone/Camera/MP3/Thingie

September 23, 2004


You’ll have to go to the Flash-intensive Gizmondo (no, NOT Gizmodo) site and browse around to find this particular item, but get a load of their upcoming game, not a million miles away from our own CitiTag, not to mention Seamful stuff I just blogged about below:

“City is a multiplayer short-time game, aiming to provide first-class entertainment for Gizmondo gamers in limited time situations. Like when you are taking a bus ride or just waiting for a friend.

City utilises the unique GPS functionality of the Gizmondo. It incorporates a player’s physical location into the game itself, creating a unique virtual gaming world that can extend to the off-line world. City involves the players even further with the Gizmondo’s messaging possibilities through GPRS as well as the device’s Bluetooth. Not forgetting the in-built digital camera to help personalise the gaming experience even further.”

Well, this is good news and bad news. The good news is that this is an exciting and rapidly-expanding niche, and it’s great to see so many people rushing into this space. The bad news is that before you start racing around any city with your gadget in hand, you’d better be aware of some of the location-based-service headaches. To my knowledge, even with all the publicity surrounding city-based gaming, our own CitiTag is the largest multiplayer wireless location-based game ever attempted… and I can tell you that there are some nasty tradeoffs involved in providing real-time multiplayer updates AND fine-grained location tracking AND thrilling hiding places / interaction spaces : some of these are simply diametrically opposed to one another [for instance, the places with the best WiFi often have the worst GPS, or places with great GPS reception don’t make such great multiplayer playgrounds, etc].

But with so many people in this space, these problems will ultimately go away, so let’s get more people ‘on the case’!

September 15, 2004

Seamful:

“The Seamful Game is a GPS and WiFi based game played in the streets using PDAs.”

Neato… this concept is very similar to KMi’s CitiTag game… both CitiTag and Seamful were presented at the recent UbiComp2004. The interesting thing is how complementary the games are: CitiTag opts for minimalist PDA ‘attention’, gets scaleability simply from the number of players, and assumes robust GPS and WiFi connections; Seamful involves paying more attention to the PDA screen, and leverages the ‘dropout’ of WiFi signals to the advantage of the players (i.e. locating the edge of the signal is a good thing). Great stuff!

September 15, 2004

Seamful:

“The Seamful Game is a GPS and WiFi based game played in the streets using PDAs.”

Neato… this concept is very similar to KMi’s CitiTag game… both CitiTag and Seamful were presented at the recent UbiComp2004. The interesting thing is how complementary the games are: CitiTag opts for minimalist PDA ‘attention’, gets scaleability simply from the number of players, and assumes robust GPS and WiFi connections; Seamful involves paying more attention to the PDA screen, and leverages the ‘dropout’ of WiFi signals to the advantage of the players (i.e. locating the edge of the signal is a good thing). Great stuff!

September 15, 2004

Seamful:

“The Seamful Game is a GPS and WiFi based game played in the streets using PDAs.”

Neato… this concept is very similar to KMi’s CitiTag game… both CitiTag and Seamful were presented at the recent UbiComp2004. The interesting thing is how complementary the games are: CitiTag opts for minimalist PDA ‘attention’, gets scaleability simply from the number of players, and assumes robust GPS and WiFi connections; Seamful involves paying more attention to the PDA screen, and leverages the ‘dropout’ of WiFi signals to the advantage of the players (i.e. locating the edge of the signal is a good thing). Great stuff!

Udell on Collaborative Knowledge Gardening

September 14, 2004

Conventional wisdom holds that people will never assign metadata tags to content. It just isn’t on the path of least resistance, the story goes, and those few who do step off the path succeed only in creating unwieldy taxonomies. … Yet somehow, users of Flickr and del.icio.us do routinely tag content, and those tags open new dimensions of navigation and search. It’s worth pondering how and why this works. … Abandoning taxonomy is the first ingredient of success. … “

Worth a read:

http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/08/20/34OPstrategic_1.html

September 14, 2004

Grouper: “Grouper is a new Windows based application that allows users to share their personal media within private groups. Grouper uses P2P technology connecting you directly to your friends’ hard drives where you can share large files in a safe, encrypted environment. Grouper is a simple install and requires no firewall reconfiguration.”

September 14, 2004

Grouper: “Grouper is a new Windows based application that allows users to share their personal media within private groups. Grouper uses P2P technology connecting you directly to your friends’ hard drives where you can share large files in a safe, encrypted environment. Grouper is a simple install and requires no firewall reconfiguration.”